A house that reconnects the owners with each other and nature

A house that reconnects the owners with each other and nature

There is nothing quite like changing your outlook to give you a new lease on life.

That is what the owners of this three-bedroom, prefabricated home at Fish Creek, in South Gippsland, had in mind when they commissioned modular home builder Archiblox to construct a rural retreat away from the hubbub of Melbourne.

Owners Simone and Dave are busy professionals and their home, which offers both bush and ocean vistas of the surrounding region, is designed to reconnect them with nature.

“This is their escape from the busyness of life,” Archiblox director Bill McCorkell said.

“I’ve always found that if you throw yourself into something new and different, then life slows down. That was one of the main drivers for the project.”

The home has plenty of eco-friendly features, including two rainwater tanks, a septic tank, solar panels, a wood burner to provide heat in the winter, and strategically placed windows and doors for cross ventilation in summer.

Simone and Dave have also started their own permaculture garden, and agreed the house had had a recharging effect.

“It brings us closer together and with nature,” Simone said.

“There is also a huge sense of community here and that’s been missing for us in the city.”

Here are eight great design ideas from the house.

1. Modular living

The house is divided by large cavity sliding doors into three modules — living and dining, sleeping and an entryway — to create zoned living with stable temperatures all year round.

“The entranceway is an airlock so you can close off the living and bedroom modules to sustain the temperature in each module,” Mr McCorkell said.

“The sleeping quarters have two large bedrooms, and a third bedroom filled with bunk beds for the kids.”

2. Gold splashback

While most of the house is reasonably sedate in terms of its design and colour palette, Simone and Dave opted for a bold splashback.

“They wanted a bit of bling in the kitchen,” Mr McCorkell said. “It is not over the top in any way, and yet it is a central focal point of the kitchen.”

The splashback also blends expertly with the other colours of the home, including the green and slate palette in the kitchen.

“All of the colours have been chosen to fit in with the natural surrounds of the countryside,” Mr McCorkell explained.

3. Outdoor bath

Mr McCorkell is a big fan of outdoor baths, and this home has one on a private deck off the back of the house, with a glorious view of the bush.

“If you buy a block in the bush, then it’s nice to do something that you cannot do in the city,” Mr McCorkell said.

“And one of those things is the outdoor bath. There is something wonderful about watching the steam come off the hot water, and the air has a slight nip to it. It’s about creating those magical moments.”

Simone listed the bath as her favourite addition to the house.

“Bathing outside amongst the trees is an indulgence unknown to city slickers,” she said. “It’s my own personal day spa.”

4. House orientation

The house is positioned to capture the sunrise and the moonrise, with a front deck that faces the north, while the sleeping quarters are located against a forest verge and protected from the prevailing southwest winds.

There are also raked ceilings and highlight windows to attract natural light to each module.

“Once you get a home’s orientation right, it’s really just a case of letting nature do the rest,” Mr McCorkell said.

“The idea is for the house to be in harmony with the surrounds so that you’re rising with the sun and going to bed when it’s dark.”

5. Slatted eaves

The owners opted for slatted eaves high enough to let in the low winter light but the perfect height to block the high summer sun from penetrating the home’s interior.

The eaves are made from blackbutt timber and also serve an aesthetic function, preventing the home’s exterior from looking too boxy.

“The eaves look really attractive and are a nice feature over the windows and doors,” Mr McCorkell said.

6. Expansive decking

Mr McCorkell was adamant all rural properties needed expansive decking, and this house delivers in spades.

It has an expansive wraparound deck that enables the family to capture the warmth in winter wherever the sun might be.

“A large deck means you are not limited to being outside at certain times of the day,” Mr McCorkell said. “You can simply follow the sun around or seek out the shade when it’s hot.”

7. Curtains and fabrics

The owners thought long and hard about their choice of wall coverings, opting for sheer curtains to let in dappled light.

“The curtains’ relative lightness also allows them to blow in the breeze and let the wind into the house, creating a connection between outdoors and indoors,” Mr McCorkell said.

The pair also used preloved rugs to add a homely feel to the living and sleeping areas.

8. Skylight

The skylight in the main bedroom is among Mr McCorkell’s favourite parts of the house.

It allows Simone and Dave to enjoy a spot of stargazing without having to leave their room.

“Stargazing in the city is nowhere near as good because you have light pollution,” Mr McCorkell said. “But those (Wilsons) Prom skies? They are fantastic. Nothing beats them.”


Source link